If I’m Legally Drunk, Where’s the Policy Exclusion?

A young Michigan man wrecked his motorbike one April evening after consuming a few too many drinks. (It’s unclear just what he had to drink, nor is it particularly important, but we’ll assume it was a Founder’s All Day IPA in keeping with the complaint’s filing in Grand Rapids). As a consequence, he incurred nearly $200,000 in medical bills.

When the young man submitted those medical bills to his insurer, however, he was denied coverage due to a policy exclusion for injuries “occurr[ing] as a result of a Covered Person’s illegal use of alcohol.” Perhaps the young man lost heart when he first read this exclusion. But his lawyers did not. They asked the $64,000 question: while driving under the influence is undoubtedly illegal, is it the illegal use of alcohol within the meaning of the insurance policy? Continue reading

If the Bada Bing were BYOB …

… no one ever would have known, because, until recently, New Jersey law prevented such a fact from being advertised. See N.J. Stat. Ann. ยง 2C:33-27.* Tony Soprano and his cohorts, of course, presumably would not have been dissuaded by the threat of statutory violations. The owners of an actual Atlantic City, New Jersey, adult entertainment establishment, however, were so dissuaded, and they filed a complaint for relief in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Continue reading